I recently stumbled upon a travel package that saved me a ton of time and money too. It was for our trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to visit the amusement park Dollywood.
We live about 4 hours from Pigeon Forge so we were driving there but still need to find a place to stay and get tickets to the park. Pigeon Forge and the Gatlinburg area have hundreds of hotels. I knew finding one was going to take me a while so I thought I would start by checking out ticket options first at Dollywood.com. While looking around the site, I noticed a tab labeled special offers, so I clicked on it. In the special offers section there is an option listed as Adventure Vacation Packages so I checked it out.
There are 3 packages choose from:
1) Dollywood Vacation Package: This package is for tickets to Dollywood and accommodations.
2) Dollywood's Splash Country Water Adventure Package: This package is for tickets to Dollywood's sister park Splash country and accommodations.
3) Dollywood Smoky Mountain Adventure Park Combo: This one includes tickets to both parks and accommodations.
We chose the Dollywood Vacation Package. The first step is to choose the dates you will be traveling. That brings up a list of hotels that are available in the package for the dates you need, a description of the rooms, the amenities at the hotel and the price for that hotel. The second step is to pick the hotel you are interested in. The third step is to enter the type of tickets to the park you need and the date you will be first using them. A good thing to know with this is, Dollywood has a ticket policy that if you arrive at the park after 3 PM, you get the next day FREE! The last step is to enter all your info, pay and print your tickets. If you have any questions during the process, there is live help available online during certain hours. If they are not available, like when I needed them, leave them an email and they will get back to you quickly.
We chose the most expensive hotel that was listed because we were looking for a suite. The hotel we picked was the Ramada Limited Suites which is the closest hotel to he entrance of the park. We had a 2 room suite with a full kitchen, a separate bedroom with 2 double beds and a living room with a pull out sofa. The hotel also offered free continental breakfast each morning. For the park, we picked one day tickets but we did arrive after 3 on the first day and had no problem using our tickets again the next day.
This is what the package broke down to compared what it would have cost to book separately.
2 nights family suite Ramada
3 adult Dollywood tickets
1 child Dollywood ticket
$389.90 (plus tax)
2 nights family suite Ramada ($189.96 per night)
3 adult Dollywood tickets ($50.20 each)
1 child Dollywood ticket ($39.00)
$569.52 (plus tax)
Booking this as a package through the Dollywood site, I save hours of searching through hotel listings and $190.00. Everything went smoothly and we had no problems with the tickets or the hotel. If you are looking to book a trip to visit Dollywood, check out the travel packages and you may be surprised at the saving available.
Update On Apr 08, 2010: Dollywood has added a new website called Dollywood vacationswhere you can book travel packages and they have added luxury log cabin rentals to the list of available accommodations that you can choose from. Guests who choose cabins get special privileges including a Dollywood Vacation Pass with admission to Dollywood for the entire length of your stay, free parking and1 free day admission to Dollywood Splash Country. I wish they had the cabin rentals available as part of the package when we were there, we would have probably picked that over staying at just a hotel and might have stayed longer as well.